This month’s Big Question from the Learning Circuit’s blog is, basically, where do you begin? Of course, that begs the question: what do you already know? Design, ID, a tool, ?
However, it appears that the question sort of assumes a preexisting master’s in ID/IT. Which, if it’s done well, includes several different tools, lots of ID, a whiff of interface design, some experience prototyping different types of interactions (sync, games, etc), and one major project with project planning, prototyping, testing, and production. Which, of course, is a dream.
Regardless, I’d recommend Clive Shepherd’s 30 60 minute Master’s (NB: you have to open an account), my own 7 Step Program (PDF) on the reading side. Then I’d recommend taking a topic and storyboarding, testing, refining, prototyping, testing, and refining. All before you actually start building. I don’t really care how you prototype: it can be PPT, raw html, whatever. Or a rapid elearning tool, but don’t put hands to a development tool ’til it’s mapped out on paper (you don’t want to prematurely converge on what the tool makes easy until you’ve figured out the best design).
For production, there are lots of tools out there. Apparently Udutu is free to author in, and there are lots of tools out there, SmartBuilder, Lectora, etc. Whatever your org already has it’s mitts on. Of course, if you’ve gone more creative in your design, you might need to actually work in, say, Flash.
But get the design right first; as I say, “if you get the design right, there are lots of ways to implement it, but if you don’t get the design right, it doesn’t matter how you implement it!”